B.C. facing class-action lawsuit over ICBC payments to MSP

Click to play video: 'Legal hurdle crossed in ICBC class action lawsuit'
Legal hurdle crossed in ICBC class action lawsuit
The B.C. Supreme Court has ruled a lawsuit against the province and ICBC can proceed as a class action, potentially affecting thousands of people in this province. As Catherine Urquhart reports, the lawsuit alleges wrongdoing by the public insurer for decades – May 27, 2024

The province of B.C. is facing a billion-dollar class-action lawsuit for allegedly using ICBC to tax people for health-care costs illegally.

Lawyer J. Scott Stanley represents the plaintiffs.

“If this lawsuit is successful, it could mean money for anybody that has bought insurance from ICBC going back to 1973,” he told Global News.

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ICBC to hand out rebates

The BC Supreme Court suit alleges that “for decades, ICBC has been making payments to the provincial Medical Services Plan contrary to law.”

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“Those payments have cost ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars and driven up insurance costs unnecessarily and unlawfully,” it claims.

Stanley said the province is taking money from insurance to pay for something tax dollars are already covering.

“Whatever the government says, the answer already is (it has) gotten that money from the federal government because all British Columbians have already paid that when they’ve paid their federal taxes,” he said.

The case has been making its way through the courts since 2020.

Under then-Attorney General David Eby, the province tried to stop the legal action using legislation.

Click to play video: 'Grieving East Kootenay family questions ICBC'
Grieving East Kootenay family questions ICBC

Asked about the BC Supreme Court decision certifying the class action, Eby defended ICBC’s payments to the province.

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“There was a technical problem with the laws around MSP and ICBC that we addressed, and we’ll make our arguments in court,” he said at an unrelated event on Monday.

No trial dates have been set.

Preliminary financial results show ICBC will make a net income of $1.5 billion dollars this year.

Some of that money could one day end up back in the pockets of British Columbians if the case is successful.

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